Postgraduate Scholarship in Geodynamics/Plate Tectonics/Morphodynamics

Funding Body
The University of Sydney

Postgraduate Scholarship in Geodynamics/Plate Tectonics/Morphodynamics

Research Areas
Sciences & Engineering

Postgraduate Research

Applications are invited for a PhD scholarship in Plate Tectonics/ Geodynamics/ Morphodynamics working with members of the Basin Genesis Hub (an ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub) within the EarthByte Group at the School of Geosciences, The University of Sydney.

This PhD project focuses on understanding long-term landscape evolution through the interaction between mantle processes, plate tectonic processes and surface processes.  The scientific rationale underpinning this project is based on understanding landscape evolution in a geodynamic, tectonic, and climatic context is the key for unlocking economic resources including oil and gas resources, placer deposits and geothermal energy.

The position will focus on building 3D thermal-mechanical models (via the Underworld software –, in a well-constrained paleogeography framework (via GPlates –, and on linking them to mantle convection (via CitcomS –, and to surface processes (via the Badlands surface process modeling code currently under development). The robustness of these models will be iteratively improved through of comparison to geological observations, such as basin stratigraphy, and data constraining rock uplift and subsidence.

Applications are open to domestic and international students.

Applicants must have:

  • An undergraduate degree and an MSc or Honours degree in geology or geophysics
  • An interest in carrying out research at the interface between geophysics, geology and geomorphology
  • Experience with scripting/programming, especially in an OSX/Unix/Linux environment (e.g. shell scripting, Python or C++)
  • Expertise in ’long-term’ geodynamics/plate tectonics/morphodynamics and some aspect of computational/numerical modelling
  • Knowledge of common computer software for data analysis and map making, eg QGIS, R, iPython, Matlab, or Generic Mapping Tools (GMT)
  • An ability to work as part of a diverse and collaborative research team
  • Good communication skills, and an ability to present results both orally and in written form 

Amount awarded
The scholarship is valued at the APA rate ($26,288 per annum in 2016, indexed annually, tax exempt) for up to three years, subject to satisfactory progress. This scholarship does not cover any tuition fees payable by candidates although exceptional international applicants may be considered for a fee award.

Application guide:
Additional information about the group’s research can be found at Applications and enquiries should be directed to BGH Director Professor Dietmar Müller ( and Associate Professor Patrice Rey (

Closing date
11 March 2016